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Journal Article

Currents and Superpotentials in classical gauge theories: II. Global aspects and the example of Affine gravity


Silva,  Sebastian
Quantum Gravity & Unified Theories, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Julia, B., & Silva, S. (2000). Currents and Superpotentials in classical gauge theories: II. Global aspects and the example of Affine gravity. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 17, 4733-4744.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-5779-6
The conserved charges associated with gauge symmetries are defined at a boundary component of spacetime because the corresponding Noether current can be rewritten on-shell as the divergence of a superpotential. However, the latter is afflicted by ambiguities. Regge and Teitelboim found a procedure to lift the arbitrariness in the Hamiltonian framework. An alternative covariant formula was proposed by one of us for an arbitrary variation of the superpotential, it depends only on the equations of motion and on the gauge symmetry under consideration. Here we emphasize that in order to compute the charges, it is enough to stay at a boundary of spacetime, without requiring any hypothesis about the bulk or about other boundary components, so one may speak of holographic charges. It is well known that the asymptotic symmetries that lead to conserved charges are really defined at infinity, but the choice of boundary conditions and surface terms in the action and in the charges is usually determined through integration by parts, whereas each component of the boundary should be considered separately. We treat the example of gravity (for any spacetime dimension, with or without cosmological constant), formulated as an affine theory which is a natural generalization of the Palatini and Cartan-Weyl (vielbein) first-order formulations. We then show that the superpotential associated with a Dirichlet boundary condition on the metric (the one needed to treat asymptotically flat or AdS spacetimes) is the one proposed by Katz et al and not that of Komar. We finally discuss the KBL superpotential at null infinity.